To buy and gift local this Christmas contributes to the whole business community, and here’s why you should do so.
Just a few days left before Christmas! If you’re brewing a new business idea or finishing your shopping list, turn to local small businesses. In this season of giving, support Philippine-made products and local suppliers. To buy and gift local this Christmas contributes to the whole business community, and here’s why you should do so.
“At the same time that [farmers] are helping me, I also help them; so, it’s a win-win situation.” — Zarina De Luna, Mother Tongue
1. It helps local farmers and suppliers grow their business
Mother Tongue is a business Zarina De Luna grew from her college thesis. She developed a mushroom chili sauce with the help of local merchants from the Philippine Hot Sauce Club Mother Tongue sources ingredients from local farmers. Zarina shares how this cycle of helping Filipino suppliers grows not just her business, but also theirs. “It supports a sustainable food system since all my ingredients are sourced from our local farmers. When we buy food from our local farmers, we contribute to our community’s economy.”
2. It showcases our rich natural resources
When local entrepreneurs and farmers team up together, they can make high quality products that exceed international standards. MSMEs do not need to look any further when it comes to supplies. The Philippines is rich with natural resources that can produce amazing products. All you need to do is look.
“We decided to start our business because my business partner, Paula and I wanted to share to everyone the authentic taste of Buffalo wing sauce. We are very proud of our product because of the high quality ingredients that we use. Each bottle is made with passion, dedication, and love,” said Hazel Leyritana of Kaien Buffalo Sauce.
3. It creates a sustainable economy
Working with local farmers and suppliers expand the resources they can offer. Constant business opportunities encourage them to continue. This strengthens Filipino livelihoods and families. But the demand for their goods also increases supply for your business needs. We give our brothers and sisters a brighter future while we grow our own.
4. It encourages creative business ideas
“Small business is hard in our country already and what more if what you’re offering only caters to a niche market. Another thing is marketing. People would always recognize brands that are established. A lot of Pinoys still support imported products more than locally made. Most are easily swayed by advertising of big brands and what’s currently hot,” shared Eric Del Rosario of Epic Spice. Epic Spice sells award-winning homemade hot sauces & chili-based products.
That’s why gifting local also encourages creativity. The holiday season is the ideal time to introduce products and kick-start a business. Sharing these open up doors to new found flavors and choices to customers who think quality only comes from imports.
“My products are not just goods for sale… they are bottled passion.” — Ica Asistio, Ica’s kitchen
1. It allows entrepreneurs to earn a living through their passions
Ica’s Kitchen started with a basic chili garlic sauce recipe. But Ica’s love for experimentation and cooking grew the business to what it is today. “Juggling work, my personal life, and Ica’s Kitchen can be really draining at times. [I would spend] all that time tirelessly without the guarantee that [I’ll] be able to sell the bottles anytime soon.”
When there’s a market for your products that you make with love, it keeps you going. It may be hard work, but it’s fulfilling.
Hazel further shared, “We sourced out all our ingredients in the market, we tried selling four bottles using our social media account. Then, every week we [had] new orders coming in. And we offered three sizes that fits to all consumers. Nowadays, internet is very essential especially to us whose starting to put up a small business.”
2. It builds a helpful community of local businesses
And what’s encouraging is how local businesses help each other grow. You’d think that it’s a cutthroat and competitive industry, but the local community is all about collaboration and support.
“I’ve had Ica’s Kitchen for almost two years now, and I have the local food businesses to thank for that. For always encouraging me and always inspiring me to keep pushing,” said Ica. Eric also shared how “local makers help each other out.” They understand that it’s better to lift others up than drag them down.
3. It carries that community to the next level, together
The hard work extends from just developing your own business. When you choose to give gifts from other local entrepreneurs, the support will come full circle. “I remembered when we received a message from our first client, we were so nervous. After reading her comment about our sauce, my business partner and I are crying. It was the best feeling!” Said Hazel. Hazel and her partner Paula gave in to their cravings for the perfect and authentic Buffalo sauce and concocted one. This gave birth to their business. To see a growing appreciation for Filipino products made with heart is what makes it all worth it for SME owners. It’s a big win for the whole community.
4. It challenges local businesses to produce high quality goods
Also, a welcoming community that sources and gifts local grows word-of-mouth, healthy competition, and higher quality goods. The bar may be constantly raised and work can become more challenging, but you come out stronger and better in the end.
“As a small local business owner, there is always the fear of competing with well-known brands that are being catered in the supermarkets. [But] our products would give others a better, and more definitive taste than those commonly found off the supermarket shelves. Our products are carefully crafted to attain the best quality,” said Jun Gamboa of Big Boi Peppers & Spices. The business experiments on condiments to bring out extra flavors to everyday dishes. Its advocacy is to help struggling farmers in the country.
“We want people to… experience the love of having a locally made product, share it, and be proud of it.” — Eric Del Rosario, Epic’s Spice
1. It improves the country’s overall economy
These passion projects shine a spotlight on what the Philippines has to offer. It improves the country’s economy: the success of the local suppliers and entrepreneurs is the success of the country.
2. It pushes other businesses to think of creative ways to support fellow local entrepreneurs
As a business, you are capable of supporting local in many ways. Give your clients local gifts from SMEs. Add gift ideas from small businesses to your personal shopping list. Negotiate with fellow entrepreneurs as your suppliers. You can even resell creative gifts from small businesses.
Believe in and support the hard work of fellow entrepreneurs and see the local MSME industry grow. It’s the best time of the year to gift local.
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